This post contains spoilers for ‘The Falcon and The Winter Solider.’
This past weekend, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier concluded and gave Marvel fans the moment they’ve all been waiting for: the inauguration of the next — and rightful — Captain America, Sam Wilson. In addition, fans finally got to see the broody Bucky Barnes achieve something resembling peace of mind and closure, something that he’s been sorely needing for the past 80 years or so.
However, just like its Disney+ predecessor, WandaVision, The Falcon and Winter Soldier finale did more than tell a fantastic story — it set things in motion for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some pretty major ways, establishing not only the next Captain America but new villains and dynamics. So, what’s next for Sam, Bucky, and The Avengers in the MCU’s phase four? As always, Marvel Studio is keeping things delightfully open-ended, but has provided us with enough information to keep us psyched and speculating. Here are a few of our big questions and what we know so far.
Will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier get a second season?
As of right now, there are no plans for a second season. Much like WandaVision, the short-and-sweet six-episode mini-series seemed more interested in setting up the universe’s upcoming full-length features rather than becoming an entity in itself.
Ooh, what kind of full-length features?
Last week, Deadline reported a new Captain America movie is in the works, with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman at the helm. While Marvel is staying tight-lipped about the film’s director and cast, Spellman’s involvement could easily mean the movie will feature Anthony Mackie reprising his role as the new Captain America and will follow his next steps in the star-spangled boots. Captain America 4 could even feature former Cap, Chris Evans himself, who earlier this year was rumored to be reprising his role in the MCU at some point, though, if true, would presumably in some small, supplemental way. However, at least one character in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is sure to get more screen time: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who (in the comics) is an antagonistic double-agent working for the Russian spy ring Leviathan and the (wait for it) former lover of one Nick Fury. Fontaine might make her next appearance in Black Widow, which hits theaters July 9.
Apart from Sam and Val, what’s next for everyone else?
It’s highly unlikely we’ve seen the last of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez), Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), and Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson). Bucky, for example, could have roles in the upcoming Avengers or Captain America movies. In addition, he also has close ties with Wakanda and could make an appearance in the Black Panther sequel and/or Disney+’s upcoming Wakanda series. Also on the side of good is Joaquin, who inherited Sam’s old wings in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and appears to be on track to become the next Falcon and serve alongside his newly promoted friend.
Baron Zemo is an interesting one, being a character we already have quite a bit of rocky history with. However, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showrunners seemed intent on making his character both more charming and redeemable in the series, leaving us speculating he might be around more. He was last seen headed to The Raft, a prison where, in the comics, Zemo created the villainous super-group called The Thunderbolts. John Walker and Sharon Carter are also a couple of characters seemingly up to no good, with Walker joining Fontaine to potentially use his super-solider talents outside the law and Sharon possibly setting herself up in a pretty cushiony role as double-agent.
Out of all of these characters however, Eli Bradley might just be one fans should be most excited about. In the comics, Eli joins the Young Avengers as Patriot, a hero modeled after Captain America. As we see the next generation of Avengers start to emerge — Cassie Lang as Stinger, Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, Riri Williams as Ironheart, Kate Bishop as Hawkeye, and America Chavez as Ms. America — we see the future of the MCU, and it’s looking to be quite a cast of diverse and enthusiastic newcomers.
And speaking of additions everyone is pretty stoked about, we haven’t forgotten that Disney purchased Fox a couple of years back and therefore has rights to the X-Men. While WandaVision has a much closer relationship with the X-Men, that didn’t stop The Falcon and The Winter Soldier from containing one big ol’ homage to the X-Men in the shape of Madripoor, a fictional Southeast Asian city commonly associated with Wolverine and his son, Daken. In addition, a scene from the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings takes place in the seaside city, and all this overlap cannot be a coincidence. Fingers crossed we finally get a chance to see Daken in action in Shang-Chi.
Until then, Marvel fans have something to look forward to with Loki, which hits Disney+ on June 11.